First Edition Cycling News for December 13, 2007
Edited by Sue George
Gould climbs higher
By Kirsten Robbins
The name Georgia Gould has appeared at the top of the North American cyclo-cross results so often this year that it's hard to believe that the 2006 US national mountain bike champion has only been a professional racer for only a few years. Perhaps it's her alliterative name, perhaps it's her prodigious winning streak this season, but this Baltimore native just seems to belong at the top of the podium.
A mountain bike racer first and foremost, 27 year-old Georgia Gould won her first professional race in the 2006 US mountain bike championships. Since then, she's been on a winning streak that included just about every cross country race she entered on the US calendar, including the national mountain bike series. She ended the mountain biking season sixth in the UCI's rankings, the season's only disappointment was being denied a repeat win in the national championship at Mt. Snow this year.
The always smiling Gould hung up the wide knobbies in September to hit the North American cyclo-cross circuit, and it's no surprise she's become quite fond of the sport after taking home four victories and the overall the series win in the US Gran Prix of Cyclo-cross. Last season she was just two seconds off of a national title in her second sport. This year, after taking on the continent's best women in the knee deep mud at the series finals in Portland and winning, it's no surprise that Gould's answer to the question, "Can you win the US 'cross championship?" was a resounding "Yes!".
When growing up in Baltimore, Maryland, Gould wasn't exposed much to cycling. In fact, it wasn't until she moved to Sun Valley, Idaho after completing a degree in psychology that she first picked up the bike.
Gould and her husband Dusty LaBarr currently live in Fort Collins, Colorado, but Gould explained that Sun Valley was where she first took up mountain biking, and then started taking it more seriously after being exposed to the multitude of training rides and weekend races.
"I noticed that mountain biking was something a lot of people did so I started exploring all the trails," said Gould. "When I was nineteen I met Dusty out there and he was also mountain biking, so we ended up riding together a lot. The next couple years I did racing here and there and in 2003, I got more serious and did the whole regional series as an expert. Then in 2004 I got my professional license."
In her first professional season with Team Tamarac, the pair based themselves out of a fifteen-passenger van and drove to the national calendar events. "My husband is very supportive," acknowledged Gould. "He has been my support from the very beginning: he's my mechanic, he feeds me and used to even clean my bike. We train together and we also pre-rode the courses together."
To read the complete interview, click here.
McQuaid hopes for China Tour popularity similar to Tour de France
UCI President Pat McQuaid promised China's new stage race would be "as important and popular as the Tour de France" according to the China Daily. McQuaid was referring to the Tour of China, planned for 2009.
At the Track World Cup in Beijing Saturday, McQuaid said, "We have a very ambitious plan." Referring to the race, he said, "The Tour of China will be a professional tournament different from other races held in China. This means that the world's top 18 to 20 professional teams will participate in the event for the first time in China's cycling history."
The UCI will work with China's Cycling Association to keep the cycling momentum alive after the Olympic Games are held in Beijing in 2008.
"I believe that many bicycle fans in China know the Tour de France. We hope to make the Tour of China an event as important and popular as the Tour de France," said McQuaid to the China Daily. "The race would be part of the elite ProTour calendar. We are all looking forward to it."
The UCI has about 20 cyclists racing on professional teams in Europe and it hosts two major races, the Tour of Qinghai Lake and the Tour of Hainan Island. McQuaid indicated he was impressed with the success of both races and predicted all the top teams would come to a Tour of China, instead of the one or two that now regularly attend both existing Chinese Tours.
As strained relations between the UCI and Grand Tour organizers continue, the UCI is looking outside the sport's usual European center to add new major events. "We will create a global tour," he said. "It's important for our sponsors to go into these new markets. Cycling needs to offer those markets."
Astana to ride Trek for 2008 season and beyond
After much anticipation, Trek Bicycle Corporation officially announced today that it has entered into a "multiple year" agreement with Johan Bruyneel's Astana team. According to the arrangement, Trek will provide the Astana riders with Madone 6.9 framesets and a healthy selection from the company's Bontrager parts bin, including wheels, tires, saddles, handlebars, stems, bar tape, cages, and bottles. "We have a relatively standard agreement with the team," said Trek Road Brand Manager Scott Daubert. "We provide them with bikes; they provide us with race results and bike development and access to the riders. It's very similar to what we had with Discovery and US Postal. It's a partnership that helps us both."
The 2008 Astana team is quickly shaping up to look like last year's Discovery Channel team reborn with Bruyneel at the helm, several key Discovery riders moving over (including Levi Leipheimer and 2007 Tour de France winner Alberto Contador), and now the same bike sponsor. From an equipment standpoint, though, Astana will be more akin to a startup than a veteran team and can use little from Bruyneel's Discovery stores.
"The thing that's weighing the heaviest on us right now is that they're basically starting from scratch," said Daubert. "They only have limited access to the inventory that was on hand at their service course in Belgium so there are only a few items that were left behind from Tailwind. So some of that equipment has gone with Tailwind and the remaining bits will just be rolled into this next program. We're starting from ground zero, where the team can't use anything that says 'Discovery' or 'US Postal' on it so we're having to paint up and supply all new bikes for the program, and they have a full roster so it's a lot of equipment."
Daubert would not reveal the actual number of bikes committed to the program yet, but the figure is undoubtedly substantial. "I don't know if we have a final count because we're waiting on a couple of riders that are either coming or going, and I think in addition to that we're still sorting out what bikes are going to be considered home bikes, if there is anything that we can recover from the '07 program, so I kind of have a general number."
To read the full news item see Tech News.
Kelly wins Sportstars Hall of Fame award
Nearly two decades after the prime of his racing career, Irishman Sean Kelly was recognized by the Texaco Sportstars Hall of Fame in Dublin Wednesday evening.
"When you see all that Sean has put into Irish Cycling both during his career and now developing riders he thoroughly deserves this honour," said UCI President, Pat McQuaid to www.irishcycling.com.
Kelly was ranked among the top cyclists of the world from 1984 to 1989 with his career in the European peloton spanning 18 years. The 51 year-old Kelly was known as a Classics rider, but he also won one Vuelta a España, and seven consecutive editions of Paris-Nice. His other wins included the Tour de Suisse and multiple editions of the Milan-Sanremo, Paris-Roubaix, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, the Giro di Lombardi, Gent-Wevelgem and the Grand Prix des Nations Critérium International, just to name a few.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by AFP Photo
Quick.Step heads to Italy to train
Beginning Thursday, Team Quick.Step-Innergetic will kick off a training camp for 2008 in Tuscany, Italy. Riders will train in Marina di Bibbona, the birthplace of World Champion Paolo Bettini through December 19.
It will be the first meeting of the entire 2008 team including all 27 racers and their support staff. New arrivals to the team Stijn Devolder, Alexander Efimkin and Matteo Carrara will have the chance to pedal with their team-mates for the first time.
"We're ready to start the sixth season," said Team Manager Patrick Lefevere . "It will be an important rally to lay the foundations for the next phase. We hope that this year will be another round full of success and great satisfaction for the team, the racers and our sponsors."
"Our main objective, as always, is to demonstrate that unity and tightness that has always set our team apart, factoring into all the races on the calendar during the entire length of the season," said Lefevre.
UCI amends ProTour rules to benefit national squads
The UCI made an exception to its rule prohibiting non-ProTour teams from competing in the ProTour events when it granted special permission to the Australian National Cycling Team to race the Tour Down Under in January according to Adelaide's The Advertiser.
2008 will mark the first time the Tour Down Under is conducted with ProTour event status. Per the request of the South Australian Government, the UCI is allowing the national team to compete. The rule change lets the national team of a race organizer's country take part in UCI ProTour events and the change will be applied for the first time at the Tour Down Under.
Maastricht six day cancelled
By Paul Verkuylen
The Maastricht six day track event that was scheduled to take place from December 17-22 has been cancelled. The organizing committee decided after much debate to cancel the event due in part to not succeeding to generate the required budget for the event, according to the event's official website.
Due to the chairman of the organizing committee and driving force behind the event, Jan Hoen's state of health the committee was unable to raise the much needed money in order for the race to go ahead. All those whom have purchased tickets via the website are entitled to a refund on the ticket price.
Tour of Pennsylvania invites U25 teams
The Tour of Pennsylvania announced Wednesday that it was seeking applications from international young cycling teams to compete in the inaugural edition of its Under 25 stage race set for June 24-29, 2008. The international tour will begin with a prologue time trial in Philadelphia and will cover approximately 500 miles over six days, with finish-line events in Philadelphia, Carlisle, Bedford and Latrobe and a race grand finale in Pittsburgh to help celebrate the southwest Pennsylvania region's 250th anniversary.
"We're inviting at least 20 six-rider teams of the world's best young cyclists in the espoir class, including some who may participate in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and Tour de France," said Jerry Casale, chief operating officer of Pro Cycling Tour, LLC, the company that is organizing the race.
The Tour of Pennsylvania route will roughly follow the historic Forbes Road (along US Route 30), which was created in 1758 when British General John Forbes and Colonel George Washington forged a trail through the challenging terrain of the Allegheny Mountains to the Forks of the Ohio during the French and Indian War, founding Bedford, Ligonier and Pittsburgh along the way. "The route's combination of challenging terrain and the Pittsburgh circuits make it the ideal format for a stage race," said Casale.
US $150,000 will be awarded in stage prizes, overall general classification and special competitions. Teams interested in applying should contact Robin Zellner, Technical Director at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MIT Team sets world record in human-powered computation
A team of 10 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) cyclists used bicycles to power a supercomputer conducting research on nuclear fusion Tuesday in order to complete the largest human-powered computation in history.
Riding bicycles attached to electrical generators, the students not only saved energy by using human power to run the SiCortex SC648 supercomputer, they used the computer to conduct research promoting alternative energy, as well. Several students on the MIT Cycling Team research nuclear fusion, a potentially promising source of energy that would provide an environmentally-friendly alternative relative to currently used nuclear fission power that produces dangerous radioactive waste.
A large part of their research is conducted using supercomputers that can model plasmas at nearly 10 million degrees centigrade. The bicycle powered computer ran a modeling application written by Greg Wallace, a graduate student at MIT and an avid mountain biker.
The MIT Cycling Team joined forces with the Massachusetts company specializing in energy-efficient supercomputing. The MIT cyclists powered the supercomputer drawing 1.2 kilowatts of electricity, riding non-stop for almost 20 minutes. A conventional supercomputer might require ten times as much power to perform the same calculations.
"By harnessing the energy creation processes of the sun, our research opens the possibility of limitless energy," said John Wright, a member of MIT's Plasma Science & Fusion Center and an avid cyclist. "But we still need to do our parts individually, such as by using energy-efficient computers in our research."
The team will head to Kansas City, Kansas, this weekend to defend their 2006 USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championship title.
Former schoolteacher signs for British pro team
By Jim Golden
Former public school math teacher Emma Silversides became the first British rider to sign with Belgium's top women's pro cycling team Lotto Belisol. The 29 year-old from North Yorkshire who has been supporting her racing ambitions with her work as an artist, will join her new team-mates including Athens Olympic road race champion Australian Sara Carrigan. Silversides expects to open her racing season in Lotto colours in Italy, although she already knows she will not be among the team's Het Volk line-up.
She attributes her form in part to her boyfriend, fellow pro racer Hamish Haynes, who rode for DFL- Litespeed in 2007 and will be riding for its 2008 incarnation. The couple is training in the Marina Alta area of Spain through the end of February. "I know that I would not have gotten to the point I am now and have got the chance to join a team like Lotto without Hamish. I tend to be rather negative, whereas he has taught me to set myself a target in each race and always learn something from each race experience. We support each other."
Silversides, who spent four years teaching math at the Dean Close Girls' Boarding School in Cheltenham, said "I am proud to be the first British rider to get signed up by Lotto Belisol. They approached me; that is the ultimate respect. They understand that I have gone to Belgium to try to make the grade in their country and try to adapt to their way of life."
Her new team's director sportif Dany Schoonbaert noticed Silversides after she finished fifth in a stage race in Brittany after riding in a break. "That was a real breakthrough for me. The trouble was I was not always getting picked for the stage races and was riding a lot of kermesses. I was getting regular top tens, including two seconds and three thirds. These rides got me noticed as at times I was getting into the action and getting places back to back."
"Lotto rides all the big events. I know that not being Belgian I will have to fight hard to get into the top races there. I will fight for selection," said Silversides who considers herself a strong climber, although she's also done well in flat races in The Netherlands.
Serotta plans second annual Cycling Science Symposium
Research Scientists, Bike Retailers and Manufacturers, Clinicians and Bike Enthusiasts gather for exceptional educational and networking opportunity
Serotta International Cycling Institute (SICI) is announce the lineup for its second annual Cycling Science Symposium and Expo from January 27 to 30, 2008 in Denver, Colorado. The schedule is packed with presentations, demonstrations and hands-on learning opportunities and presenters include cycling science and industry professionals including Andy Pruitt, EdD., Maury Hull, PhD., and Conrad Earnest, PhD.
Breakout tract options are available for those interested in retail, coaching or clinical sessions. "We are excited to offer this kind of educational opportunity to the cycling community," said Ray Browning, PhD., Director of SICI. "Our goals are to provide a premium educational event and to bring this diverse group of people together in the same room, opening up communication that typically is not prevalent among the cycling community. What we noticed last year was people networking, scientists and retailers sketching out designs and discussing the future of cycling science together, as well as coaches and scientists sharing ideas about improving athletic performance."
For more information, visit www.serottacyclinginstitute.com/events.html.
USA Cycling picks Northeast Regional Coordinator
Randy Inglis was named Northeast Regional Coordinator for USA Cycling Wednesday. The Mid-Atlantic Bicycle Racing Association member will maintain relationships with local USA Cycling race promoters, clubs, local associations and members within the northeast United States.
"I'm excited to have the opportunity to help develop initiatives that assist in growing the sport of cycling on a full-time basis," Inglis said.
The long-time Delaware resident who now resides in North East Maryland was chosen for his experience in race promotion and organization. "Randy has been involved in all facets of the sport including directing sponsorship and development initiatives," said Theresa Delp, USA Cycling's Vice President of Membership Services.
For the last five years Inglis, a graduate of the has served on the Board of Directors of the Mid-Atlantic Bicycle Racing Association. He has also been the MABRA president for the past two years, helping steer activities within the organization and oversee some of the Mid-Atlantic's largest professional and amateur events. Inglis also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication from Wilmington University in Delaware.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Future Publishing (Overseas) Limited 2007)